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Littledean Jail in the Forest of Dean


Littledean Jail
Littledean, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL14 3NL

01594 826659


Littledean Jail

Standing at the gateway to the Royal Forest of Dean, this former House of Correction - Littledean Jail was designed and built by the Pioneer of Prison Reform – Sir George Onesiphorous Paul and leading Prison Architect of his day - William Blackburn. As a result of the sudden death of Blackburn it was completed under the supervision of his new brother-in-law, architect William Hobson in 1791.

This remarkable Grade II* listed building was built as the most up-to-date, revolutionary House of Correction of its time, and was later seen as the Government’s role model for London’s Pentonville Prison and taken across the seas for the world famous Philadelphian Cherry Hill Penitentiary System in America. It was built for the miserly sum of £1,650. The building work was started in 1788 by Gabriel Rogers, who went bankrupt as a result of not being able to complete the work at such low costs. London Builder J. Fentiman was brought in to finish the job.

Behind the austere gatehouse entrance, the prison, with it’s formidable sandstone façade remains much as it was when first built. Steeped in history and infamy, its awesome appearance provides a stark reminder of the hard labour and craftsmanship needed to build this architecturally important jailhouse.

Littledean Jail - 'The Crime Through Time Collection'

Previously set up and housed at a former police station and courthouse at Nicholson House, Newent in Gloucestershire between 1998 - 2003. It had soon outgrown its previous home and as a result of this has been relocated lock, stock and barrel to its much larger home, here at Littledean Jail.
Over the years its owner Andy Jones has become a (some say) controversial and distinguished county personality, with his much-publicised battles with Tewkesbury Borough and Forest of Dean Council planning officers. His ‘Crime Through Time Collection’ is of worldwide interest and is in itself a magnet for publicity… being regularly covered in newspapers, magazines and TV programmes around the globe.
Despite much publicised threats of enforcement, imprisonment and boycotting actions imposed upon the owner over some two decades or more… his collection has been highly acclaimed as being one of the most unorthodox, interesting and historically significant of its kind, providing a unique niche in the Tourism Market place.

Littledean Jail Opening Times


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